TypeOnline Course
DateMar 23, 2019 - Mar 24, 2019

DNA for Genealogy: The Basics

This two-day intensive learning experience is designed for family history enthusiasts, professional genealogists, and anyone interested in learning more about using DNA to advance your genealogical research. The Basics course will start from the very beginning, and will cover the fundamentals of DNA testing; types of DNA tests; each of the DNA testing company’s websites; the testing company’s tools and features; tips for working with DNA matches; different types of methodologies used to work with DNA test results; and Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA testing. The weeklong experience includes lectures, hands-on exercises, and case studies that allow students to understand the basics of DNA testing and how it can help solve genealogical problems.

The Basics course will be held on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern).

For additional information about the course, visit our FAQs page.

In-Person Attendance

The course will be held at the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center, 178 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, New Jersey. In-person students will receive two full days of classroom instruction and a printed syllabus, as well as morning refreshments, lunch, and afternoon refreshments.

Virtual Attendance

Virtual students will receive two full days of virtual instruction and a digital syllabus. Students will be able to view the presentations, hear the presenters, and ask questions, just as if they were there in person.


Accommodations (optional) are available at the Rutgers University Inn, just steps from the classroom. For more information about accommodations and costs, or to make a reservation, visit: https://inn.rutgers.edu. Accommodations are not included in the cost of registration.


Registration is now open.

Section 1Saturday
Lecture 1How Does DNA Help Our Genealogical Research?Free Preview

This lecture is an introduction to DNA testing, including key concepts and terminology, types of tests, inheritance patterns, and how DNA testing can help extend your tree, break through brick walls, and solve difficult research problems.

Lecture 2Testing Companies: AncestryDNAFree Preview

Using DNA to advance your genealogical research depends tremendously on learning how to navigate your test results and use the tools available through the testing company websites. Learn more about the AncestryDNA platform and how to make the most of the largest DNA database.

Lecture 3Testing Companies: 23andMeFree Preview
23andMe has the most advanced tools available to genealogists using DNA as part of their toolkit. This lecture explains how to navigate these tools, and focuses on their benefits and limitations.
Lecture 4Testing Companies: Family Tree DNA and MyHeritageFree Preview

Although Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage have the smallest databases, their tools and features can be beneficial in solving genealogical problems. Learn more about how to use the tools available on Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage.

Section 2Sunday
Lecture 5Your DNA Matches: The Key To SuccessFree Preview

Are you making the most of your DNA matches? Have you done everything you can to figure out the identities of non-responsive matches? Have you tested all of the relevant people in the relevant companies, and uploaded to other testing sites and to GedMatch?

Lecture 6Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, and X-DNAFree Preview

Learn about the inheritance patterns for Y-DNA and Mitohondrial DNA, assigned haplogroups, genetic distances, working with matches, and how to use Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA in combination with other DNA tests and the paper trail.

Lecture 7Intro to Key MethodologiesFree Preview

Learn about different techniques and methodologies for working with your results, including shared and in-common-with matches, X-DNA analysis, ethnicity comparisons, and targeted testing.

Lecture 8Case Studies: Practical Ways to Use DNA to Advance Your ResearchFree Preview

This session demonstrates the different ways that DNA can be used to effectively identify parentage, extend trees, and identify ancestral locations. The session also covers how to avoid the typical mistakes and pitfalls.